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The 5 Most Underrated Fighters In UFC History

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The UFC is home to some of the best MMA fighters in the world. Not only has the promotion produced unrivaled champions and world-class contenders, but it is also home to a plethora of high-level fighters who are often not given their due credit. Here are the 5 most underrated fighters in UFC history.

Gegard Mousasi

Gegard Mousasi competed 12 times under the UFC banner, before parting ways with the promotion in 2017. His UFC record is 9-3, with wins over Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, Uriah Hall, Chris Weidman, and Thiago Santos. Mousasi now competes at Bellator, where he is the middleweight champion. He has also competed in Strikeforce, DREAM, and Cage Warriors and boasts an incredible 48-7-2 MMA record.

Mousasi is arguably one of the best fighters in MMA today, but he wasn’t able to get his title shot in the UFC for some reason.

Joseph Benavidez

In any other era, Joseph Benavidez would have been a UFC champion, and a very dominant one, but he’s very unlucky to be born in the same era as Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson, both of whom are considered GOATs in their respective weight classes, bantamweight, and flyweight.

In his prime, Joe B beat everyone not named Cruz and Johnson. He holds notable wins over Henry Cejudo, Ian McCall, Jussier Formiga, and Miguel Torres. Benavidez is currently on a three-fight losing skid, but given that he’s 37-years-old, it’s clear that he’s past his prime and isn’t the fighter he once was. He’s also one of the few people to not win UFC gold despite multiple title shots.

Beneil Dariush

Beneil Dariush is one of the most criminally underrated fighters. He’s supremely talented and has worked very hard to make his way into the lightweight top five, with seven wins in a row. His most recent victory came against Tony Ferguson at UFC 262, where he dominated ‘El Cucuy’ to secure the number three spot in the rankings.

Despite sitting at number three, however, Dariush’s name is hardly ever mentioned in the title picture, which often includes reigning champion Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, and even Islam Makhachev. So many fans have been writing him off for so long, but he’s only one big win away from proving his doubters wrong. 

Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping doesn’t get the credit he truly deserves, despite holding the middleweight title and defending it once. Maybe he’s not in the same bracket as Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya, but the Brit is one of the greatest middleweight fighters of all time, and his resume speaks for itself. 

He’s very underrated. So much so that he was a +575 underdog against Luke Rockhold in their title fight at UFC 199, where he won by first-round TKO. Bisping also deserves a massive amount of respect for fighting with one eye since his loss to Vitor Belfort in 2013, where he suffered a retinal detachment due to a head kick. 

Sarah Kaufman

Sarah Kaufman is arguably one of the most underrated fighters in women’s MMA history. She’s one of the pioneers of women’s MMA and was the first female bantamweight champion in Strikeforce. However, she only competed four times under the UFC banner, losing twice. She was released by the promotion after her loss to Valentina Shevchenko, but many believe she should have had a few more chances given her resume.

Before joining the UFC, Kaufman was 16-2 with her only losses coming against Ronda Rousey and Marloes Coenen. She had wins against Miesha Tate and Roxanne Modafferi, both of whom are still competing in the UFC. Kaufman is 4-1 since parting ways with the UFC, with her last fight ending in a unanimous decision loss to Larissa Pacheco.

 

Yeshel Asif is an MMA journalist based in Pakistan. In his relatively young career, he has worked remotely for Asian Persuasion MMA, MMA Betz, and Fight Booth.

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